Urban Rating Boundary Expansion Put On Hold
The Gore District Council has decided not to extend Gore’s urban rating boundary, as had been proposed in its draft Long Term Plan.
At an extraordinary meeting this week, councillors voted to wait until after the district growth strategy was completed, in about 18 months, before reviewing rating boundaries.
The Council had proposed in its draft 10-year plan to extend Gore’s rating boundary to the south, west and north, taking in Racecourse Road, Eversfield Rise and Whiterig.
The proposal attracted 46 submissions, with all but two in opposition.
Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks yesterday welcomed the decision and said it was a good example of the Long Term Plan consultation process at work.
“Councils are often criticised for not listening.”
It was obvious there had been confusion about the proposal and the discussion had raised a lot of issues for the community and the Council to consider, Mr Hicks said.
While the proposal would have extended the urban rating boundary, the areas affected would have remained zoned rural.
“To hold fire until the Council considers zoning boundaries is a good one.”
However, there would need to be changes made in the future if the district was to grow, Mr Hicks said.
Councillors also decided to take the first step in making public areas in the Gore district smoke-free. Mr Hicks said this was another example of listening to submissions.
The issue had been considered three times before but “now we understand it is more about education than enforcement, the Council is happy to buy into it”, he said.
Cr Marty Redhead, a strong advocate for smoke-free areas, said the Council needed to take a lead role in promoting a culture change. Signage at parks and reserves was the key, he said.
The Council has also decided to partner the Mataura Licensing Trust in providing free swimming lessons for all primary school children in the Gore district. The Council’s contribution would be $20,000.
Councillors opted for the status quo with regards to the way the Council levies rates on blocks of flats. It had received 10 submissions opposing the system, which sees the uniform annual general charge applied to each tenanted unit.
Chief executive Steve Parry said the draft plan would be amended to incorporate the decisions and amendments made at Tuesday’s extraordinary meeting.
The amended plan and proposed rates resolution would go before the Council’s meeting on 26 June, he said.
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